Toy Story 4 Director Explains Why Keanu Reeves Was Perfect for Duke Caboom

The Toy Story franchise has always been anchored by its star-studded voice cast, and Toy Story 4 is certainly no exception. Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Annie Potts, and others are returning for the fourth installment of the beloved series, and they're joined by some of the biggest names to ever appear in the franchise. Christina Hendricks, Tony Hale, Keegan-Michael Key, and Jordan Peele have all been added to the cast this time around, but none of the new names are quite as big as that of John Wick star Keanu Reeves.

In Toy Story 4, Reeves plays stuntman action figure Duke Caboom, who strangely mirrors the qualities of the actor. Both are Canadian, both have an affinity for motorcycles, and both have absolutely impeccable facial hair. As perfect of a fit as these two are, the team behind Toy Story didn't actually have Reeves in mind when creating the character. He was their first choice once casting came around, but their similarities were more destiny than design.

During a visit to Pixar Animation Studios this year, heard from Toy Story 4 director Josh Cooley about the casting of Reeves in the role, and how he immediately embodied everything about Duke Caboom the moment he got the role.

"Yeah, you know we, we created Duke Caboom and then we always create the character first and then we see what's the right actor to portray this, that can do this," Cooley began. "And we went after Canadian actors, and he was the first one on our list and I'm so thrilled that he said yes. He came here first just to meet with us just before even signing and we were down in the atrium and he's like you know 'What do you think he sounds like?'

"But he completely won me over and to the point where he was, we were talking about the character just getting deeper, he's like, 'What do you think drives him?' And so he, at one point just got up on the table like, imagine just sitting down there eating lunch in front of everybody and he gets up and goes, 'Hoh! Huh! Hah! Heh!' And he's like doing poses and stuff. And I was like this is, dude, this is it. This is incredible. And every time we recorded with him he's had the biggest smile on his face. And it was just so much fun and he's just, I can't speak enough about all he is."

Producer Mark Neilsen also spoke on the similarities between Reeves and Duke Caboom, saying that the team had no idea when they offered him the role that he shared his character's love for motorcycles.

"And we didn't know when we brought him here that he owned his own motorcycle company like his connection to motorcycles was not clear to us until we sat with him and we're like, 'Wooow,' Neilsen added.

Are you looking forward to seeing Keanu Reeves in Toy Story 4? Let us know in the comments!

Toy Story 4 hits theaters on June 21st



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